Friendship

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Stanford University Press, 1997 - Family & Relationships - 309 pages
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For the past half century, Maurice Blanchot has been an extraordinarily influential figure on the French literary and cultural scene. He is arguably the key figure after Sartre in exploring the relation between literature and philosophy.

This collection of 29 critical essays and reviews on art, politics, literature, and philosophy documents the wide range of Blanchot's interests, from the enigmatic paintings in the Lascaux caves to the atomic era. Essays are devoted to works of fiction (Louis-René des Forêts, Pierre Klossowski, Roger Laporte, Marguerite Duras), to autobiographies or testimonies (Michel Leiris, Robert Antelme, André Gorz, Franz Kafka), or to authors who are more than ever contemporary (Jean Paulhan, Albert Camus).

Several essays focus on questions of Judaism, as expressed in the works of Edmond Jabès, Emmanuel Levinas, and Martin Buber. Among the other topics covered are André Malraux's "imaginary museum," the Pléiade Encyclopedia project of Raymond Queneau, paperback publishing, the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Benjamin's "Task of the Translator," Marx and communism, writings on the Holocaust, and the difference between art and writing. The book concludes with an eloquent invocation to friendship on the occasion of the death of Georges Bataille.

 

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Friendship

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Emerging from obscurity, Blanchot is now regarded as one of the great 20th-century critics, but as The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French acknowledges, "It is not entirely clear why this ... Read full review

Contents

The Birth of Art
3
The Museum Art and Time
12
Refusal
13
Museum Sickness
41
4 The Time of Encyclopedias
50
Translating
57
The Great Reducers
62
Man at Point Zero
73
Dreaming Writing
140
The Ease of Dying
149
19 The Laughter of the Gods
169
A Note on Transgression
183
The Detour Toward Simplicity
188
The Flight
201
23 The Terror of Identification
208
Traces
217

Slow Obsequies
83
On One Approach to Communism
93
Marxs Three Voices
98
The Apocalypse Is Disappointing
101
12 War and Literature
109
Destroy
113
Idle Speech
117
Battle with the Angel
129
25 Gog and Magog
228
Kafka and Brod
240
The Last Word
252
The Very Last Word
265
Friendship
289
Notes
293
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About the author (1997)

Maurice Blanchot, 1907 - Novelist and critic Maurice Blanchot was born in 1907. Some of his works in translation include "Death Sentence" (1978), "The Gaze of Orpheus" (1981), "Madness of the Day" (1988), "The One Who Was Standing Apart From Me" (1993), all of which were translated by Lydia Davis, and "Michel Foucault as I Imagine Him" (translated by Jeffrey Mehlman, 1987).

Elizabeth Rottenberg is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University. She is the editor and translator of" Negotiations: Interventions and Interviews, 1971-2001 "by Jacques Derrida (Stanford, 2001) and the translator of" Friendship "by Maurice Blanchot (Stanford University Press, 1997).

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